Healing Foods

Super Soups

Spoon up these six time-tested remedies from around the globe to get better by the bowlful
Super Soups

Nearly every culture turns to soup to heal, nourish, and soothe. Whether you’re battling a bad cold or the stomach flu, the food that can always comfort and nourish is soup. “Soups are warm and easy to take,” says Andrew Weil, MD, director of the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine Program. “They’re an excellent way to get nutrients, and they provide good associations for people.” Research confirms the health-giving properties of these home remedies and their active ingredients. Try these healing soup recipes from all over the world to ward off illness or just warm up a chilly weeknight supper.

Eastern European Red Lentil Soup
This soup’s lentils pack a balanced protein-to-carbohydrate ratio into an easy-to-digest form. The red onion boosts immunity and has pain-reducing anti-inflammatory properties. Antibacterial benefits are provided by garlic as well as honey, which also offers immune-boosting and antiviral qualities.

Vegetarian Pho
Beyond the antiviral, immune-boosting, and cholesterol-lowering properties of its shiitake mushrooms, this pho is loaded with garlic, which boasts antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits. Cinnamon also has antifungal and antibacterial attributes, while ginger is a pain-reducing anti-inflammatory that fights nausea.

French Potage with Pistou
One of the key seasonings in potage is thyme, which is used traditionally in Europe to relieve coughs and congestion. This soup is also rich in garlic and leeks—both of which supply a dose of immunity-enhancing benefits. Walnuts, which are used in the making of the flavorful pistou for this soup, bolster the immune system as well.

Moroccan Harira
The lentils and chickpeas in this soup are good sources of protein, and cilantro and parsley stimulate circulation and digestion. Immunity gets a boost from onion and the dose of vitamin C delivered by the tomatoes and lemon. Cinnamon offers antifungal and antibacterial benefits, and ginger relieves nausea and reduces pain with its anti-inflammatory power.

Greek Avgolemono Soup
Beyond its soothing, easy-to-digest egg protein, this soup’s mint and oregano contain rosmarinic acid, which is believed to inhibit bronchial constrictors and ease respiratory complaints. The lemon juice provides immune-building vitamin C, while leeks and onion deliver potent cold-and-flu-fighting power along with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Native American Toasted-Pecan Soup
Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals and promote heart health because of their high amounts of fiber, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. Spice this soup up with extra chili powder or ground dried chiles, a traditional remedy for clearing the sinuses and easing congestion and cold symptoms.

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Eastern European Red Lentil Soup

Eastern European Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils are common in Turkish, Indian, and Eastern European dishes and cook in half the time of green or brown lentils. They can be found in Indian and Middle Eastern grocery stores or alongside other dried beans in natural-foods supermarkets. You can also flavor this

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Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

The national soup of Vietnam is a bowl of rice noodles, fresh herbs, and bean sprouts swimming in a fragrant broth.

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French Potage with Pistou

French Potage with Pistou

In hospitals throughout France, meals always begin with potage, a blended vegetable soup of leeks, carrots, and potatoes. We’ve jazzed up the mild flavor with a quick pesto sauce that gets stirred in before serving.

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Moroccan Harira

Moroccan Harira

This traditional soup is thickened with a tadouira—a mixture of flour, tomato paste, and cilantro—and served with lemon wedges. Because of the vermicelli, the soup may thicken when cooled—simply add a little more water or broth when reheating.

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Greek Avgolemono Soup

Greek Avgolemono Soup

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When reheating this soup, warm it over low heat without bringing it to a boil, to prevent the eggs from curdling.

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Native American Toasted-Pecan Soup

Native American Toasted-Pecan Soup

Not Yet Rated

This rich, creamy soup is a protein powerhouse that tastes like an elegant appetizer. Try it with walnuts.

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comments

When I lived in France for the month of January for several years, a version of potage was served every evening as the first course. My French family's potage consisted of leeks, onions, garlic, celery, potato, turnips, rutabaga, and carrots. The vegetables were cooked in a pressure cooker with some coarse salt ("une poignée de gros sel") then puréed. It was fabulous and something I looked forward to each January. My own version consists of the above, but I frequently sweet potatoes for the white potates, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne.

Barbara Carden - 2013-04-01 12:40:31

I briefly saw recipe on a different website that used 6 different onions & relatives.Onions,scallions,shallots,garlic, leeks,chives (for garnish). After softening various vegs in olive oil: 1 tbs molasses & ? made a thick vegan porridge type soup. It may have been an adaptation but nothing has been close enough w/o dairy. Help?

Emma Millis - 2012-09-30 05:08:58